Biomacromolecules 21 (5) 1832-1840 [2020-05-11; online 2020-03-18]
Native hemicellulose lacks many of the properties that make fossil fuel-based polymers excellent for use in today's industrial products and processes. The mechanical and thermal properties of the hemicellulose can, however, be modified, and its processability increased. We functionalized galactoglucomannan to lower its glass transition temperature (Tg) and thereby increase its processability. The functionalization was achieved through an etherification reaction with butyl glycidyl ether used at three molar ratios. Films were produced, and their mechanical and thermal properties were evaluated. Thermogravimetric analysis showed that increased substitution increased the degradation temperature and decreased the water content in the sample, implying increased hydrophobicity upon modification. Dynamic mechanical analysis indicated that butyl glycidyl ether functionalization alters the thermal properties of the modified films both in the absolute values of Tg and in the strength of the films. The etherification reaction resulted in a more ductile material than the unmodified galactoglucomannan (GGM).